This book takes the form of a long monologue. Books are known for this: someone writes something and the reader then reads what the author has written and follows the author’s thoughts. But let’s take that to a more personal and familiar level.
Imagine the following: you and I are sitting in a cafe. In front of us are glasses of our favorite liquid refreshment, or perhaps a cup of coffee. Our conversation is peaceful and unhurried, without any time pressure. It’s much more relaxed and more conversational than me preaching to you about my view of things. Do you have a question? Then out with it! Do you disagree with what I am saying? No problem! I’ll try my best to address your doubts. In short, I want to talk with you, not at you.
It goes without saying that we want to chat about intranet-related topics, because you’re just as interested in them as I am. For example, we could talk about the challenges we face in our everyday business communication. Many organizations are bogged down in a full-blown mess: a perfect storm of emails! The trap of dealing with emails all day long and ultimately feeling that you haven’t achieved a thing. Constantly in meetings that lead nowhere. Phone calls, messengers, chats, and other real-time communication formats that are simply annoying and have absolutely no positive outcome.
We’ll also talk about specific use cases and discuss how they can be implemented in a sustainable and meaningful way using software technologies. Sure, examples and solutions from our professional world are certain to come up every now and then. But they never address the products themselves. In fact, it doesn’t matter which software you use.
We could also swap ideas about the tool landscape in our organizations. An intranet has its limits. A group chat is not a panacea. You’ll still need to attend meetings tomorrow. You’ll also need to make telephone calls. Email also remains an extremely important channel of communication. But what if you had a map of these communication channels? What if you could say whether someone is using the right channel for the specific matter or situation? That would make your life much easier. You could make a meaningful contribution. Things can be found and are well organized. Search engines spit out helpful tips. And the collaboration works better. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have less work to do, and sometimes it will still be stressful. But your effectiveness will increase. And your successes will become more visible. Transparency will increase enormously and employees will feel better integrated into the projects and the company.
We live in a world where most (large) companies offer a plethora of formats in which you can communicate. And here it depends on how we use these channels. Let’s stop taking a shotgun approach to how we use IT tools! Let’s stop using emails, meetings, and conferences in situations where they’re of absolutely no use to us! Let’s stop constantly trying to compensate for the failings of a bad organization with chats and messengers!
I want to help you gain more clarity for your organization – and who knows, perhaps it will lead to a sea change in the behavior of your teams and your organization. When that happens, the stress levels will drop. No one will be constantly engaged in communicating anymore. Effectiveness will increase. I certainly hope that will be the case for you.
Do you want to share the ideas from this book with other people? Then please, be my guest. This book is also available for sharing on the open internet.
I’ve gotten used to reading books in the morning for ten minutes while I’m riding my exercise bike to learn something new. I came upon this bright idea because my bike is equipped with a small shelf the size of a book or a Kindle. I use an Amazon Kindle. And I often like to highlight interesting passages in good books. In some cases, however, authors don’t allow you to copy their books — not even excerpts — so, I make screenshots to share my ideas with my colleagues. When I wrote this book, it quickly became clear to me that as an author, I wanted things to be different.
I wanted everyone to be able to continue working freely with the ideas that appeal to them without any great restrictions. The act of sharing ideas with others should be straightforward. So, I have two important pieces of information for you here as a reader:
- This entire book is published under a Creative Commons 4.0 license. This means that you have to mention me or Seibert Media as the author.
- If you wish to use content from this book, you have to insert a (functioning) link to the original //SEIBERT/MEDIA website. Otherwise, you are welcome to use the text for commercial reasons. In no way do I want this to be a problem for our customers or prospective customers.
Every chapter, and as such the entire book, is available publicly on the internet and can be used without restrictions. The end of each chapter contains a short link that you can simply copy and share.
For example, the link for sharing this “Foreword” on the open Internet is https://seibert.biz/intranetbookforeword.
A chapter is not always referenced strictly in a single link, because, in my view, some of the chapters are too short for that, and I didn’t want to annoy you with too many links. Nevertheless, I hope you’ll find the links useful.
And something else: at the end of the book, I’ve inserted two guest contributions from business partners: one from Christoph Rauhut on digital skills, and the other from Adil Nasri on the importance of templates in intranets. My thanks go out to both of them!
So here we are: you are here. I am here. Let’s talk about intranets!
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